On Leadership in Parenting

photo 4 (26)

I spent most of the week at the Oregon coast for Spring Break. You know, after losing a kid in the forest and dropping another one in the riverThat photo up there? It’s the view from our house this week. Yes. This is one of the reasons living in Oregon, despite the rain, is worth it, man. Miles and miles of this.

photo 4 (27)

We didn’t spend the whole week together. Greg and his folks took Kids 2 and 3 home after a couple of days. He needed to work, and the kids needed the security and stability of home. Traveling freaks the oldest boy out, and the younger girl likes her own bed. One of the biggest challenges of parenting a thousand children is recognizing their individual needs and accommodating them whenever possible. Kids in big families have lots of opportunities to learn to accommodate others and to be patient and to wait their turns and to do what’s best for The Collective. The Hive. The Group Mind. It’s OK; it’s good for kids to understand community and to practice selflessness and generosity. Except, of course, when they need what they need. And so three left. ...  read more

How to Pack for Vacation in 3 Easy Steps

One of my 6-year-olds packed his own suitcase for the beach. He was very methodical, following an organized, 3-step process, and, frankly, I think we can all benefit from his tutorial.

The great thing about this packing system is it’s straightforward, efficient, and it works for any trip of any length anywhere in the world. I’m going to share it with you here because I like you, but I’m warning you now, this is patent pending, folks. ...  read more

It’s Spring Break, aka March Madness (for Parents)

It’s Spring Break, aka March Madness for Parents. Which has nothing to do with basketball and everything to do with how we play the parenting game.

So far, one of my kids fell in a river, and I lost another one in the forest.

Don’t worry, though. All’s well.

Sometimes, even ninjas lose their balance.

photo 3 (34)

photo 1 (47)

But I dried that river kid off, and he wore my coat kilt-style in such a way as to honor our Scottish forebearers, ...  read more

How Do You Feed Your Family?

I recently sat with Sarah and Bubba King at one of our local wine-country restaurants and, while Greg wrangled kids, homework and bedtimes all on his own, I drank local beer, ate coppa pizza from the wood-fired oven, and asked my friends some Serious Questions.

Now, those of you who’ve been reading here a while will remember Sarah and Bubba from my Run, vegetarians, RUN post titled This Little Piggy Means More Bacon for Me. It’s a good post if you like bacon. AND it included original two-word poetry by me, as well as a confession or two about our crunchy Oregon lifestyle. You can go read it first if you want some background. We’ll wait. ...  read more

Credit Where Credit is Due

I’m trying to decide if telling you I was down with the grips is too much information, but you all keep acting like friends so this is pretty much your fault.

The problem with proving I have a brain filter, of course, is the fact that if I tell you all the things I don’t tell you, my proof disproves the point I was hoping to prove. If, on the other hand, I don’t tell you all the things I could tell you, then I get no credit for having a filter at all. ...  read more

Kids Pooped in My Front Yard and I’m on a Podcast

ID-10071224

True story from our weekend.

Ready?

Some kids pooped in my front yard.

My kids.

The End

That’s not really the end.

Some kids pooped in my front yard.

My kids.

They used toilet paper to wipe.

The End

“Hasn’t this happened before?” you ask.

Fine. Yes, it has.

The wiping is new, though. 

So, VICTORY!

Greg rescued the toilet paper from the yard, I interrogated the suspects, and we found one out of a reported two poops. ...  read more

Authenticity, Asshattery, Faith and Fear

I’m writing about Jesus today on another blog. And about authenticity and asshattery. And especially about the profound lesson I learned from an atheist that changed the way I talk about who I am. 

One of the things I love best about you, the people who hang out with me here, is the fact that you accept the Both/And life. Both the silly and the sacred. Both the magic and the mess. I love that you are people of all faiths and all backgrounds. I love that you are moms and dads and people-who-don’t-have-kids and that all of you — every last one — are very human and very divine. I love that you allow me the freedom to muddle my way through this life out loud. That you give me and each other unreasonable encouragement to live the best, most beautifully imperfect lives we can. ...  read more